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Low End Sedans (under $16k)



  • mpgmanmpgman Posts: 723
    The proud owner of an Elantra GT with 14,000 plus miles checking in. Resale is indeed a consideration, although Mazda never exactly lead that pack. The key to Hyundai these days is negotiating a great price when you buy. That will soften the extra depreciation a bit, providing that the future is what the past has been. I suspect that Hyundai's improving reputation and build quality will result in better resale, as later models make their way into the "desirable used car" category. I personally spent a lot of time testing the Pro-5 and the GT and for me personally, money aside, the GT won hands down for driver comfort, cargo capacity, and content. But....I would be darn proud to own a Pro-5 too.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    >"Larry, please explain why you believe the owner of an Elantra cannot be proud of his/her car. I have pride of ownership in my Elantra."<


    I was speaking only of my personal pride in ownership. Some folks really don't consider it an issue to drive a South Korean vehicle. I associate South Korean autos with credit criminals, because that's the target group in Lancaster, PA. The local Hyundai/Kia co-branded dealership markets their vehicles to credit bandits through "screamer Ads" in the local newspaper. Worse yet, the local dealership operates out of a former "Mouse House" building. Yikes!!

  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    First it was elitist wannebe yuppies in BMWS,NOW financially superior Protege owners?What next?Will the gruopings be further delineated by what tire is on the car?
    It could get really confusing.For instance,should a person who paid cash for an XG300 feel more pride then a Protege owner who finances?
    Will the pecking order be decided on the economic situation in Lancaster?
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    >"It could get really confusing.For instance,should a person who paid cash for an XG300 feel more pride then a Protege owner who finances?
    Will the pecking order be decided on the economic situation in Lancaster?"<

    Well, Fang2, he asked and I answered. My opinion only, as I stated clearly. No need to get your undies in a bunch.

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    >"I think a 2002 Hyundai Elantra GLS is a comfortable, refined sedan at a VERY attractive price. Perhaps, the best choice under $14,000?"<

  • fangio2fangio2 Posts: 214
    verbal wedgie.If one can actually be "proud"of something that anyone with the required amount of money can attain;this pride should not be contingent on the percieved financial status of owners of different products.
    I realize that it was your opinion,just as I hope you understand my response is just my opinion.Some of the "things" I own evoke "feelings too.These feelings include gratefulness and joy,but not pride.
    When I see someone driving an Elantra,I don't think "credit criminal"(are people with "bad" credit criminals-didn't we get rid of debtor's prisons).I think an Elantra owner is a person who enjoys getting the most for his buck.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Larry, thanks for your positive comments about the Elantra. But I do take issue with your comments about "pride of ownership" and South Korean cars being associated with "credit criminals." You can recant if you wish, but your initial statement about "pride of ownership" was clearly not a personal statement, but rather directed at all readers of this forum, to wit: "If these concerns [pride of ownership etc.] do not bother you..." [italics mine]. You see how easy it is to take your post to mean that owners of Elantra GLSes cannot experience pride of ownership. Is that because they are all "credit criminals"? What is the "issue" you mentioned about driving a South Korean vehicle--especially if one of them is "a comfortable, refined sedan at a VERY attractive price. Perhaps, the best choice under $14,000"?

    I assure you, I am not a credit criminal (actually, I own my '01 Elantra free and clear), and no one I know has made any issue about my driving an Elantra. I did get puzzled looks from a couple of passengers who asked me if the car was an Accord, and I told them, no, it's a Hyundai Elantra. I also assure you that not all Hyundai dealerships are like the one in your town. The Hyundai dealers in my area are all respectable businesses, paired with dealerships for Subarus, Nissans, Dodges, and Mitsubishis. Lately their ads have been touting 0% financing deals--not the kind of thing that would appeal to "credit criminals", right?

    Of course, you are entitled to your opinions, but don't be surprised if those who find your opinions offensive take you to task on them.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    >"Less money, more warranty, more standard features, of course, those are reasons for buying Hyundais-good reasons. Saving money is what "lower end" cars are about. Hyundai and Kia both offer the savings of low priced cars and the features associated with higher end cars. The Daewoo Leganza is a good example of this(could not resist the opportunity for a plug-sorry)
    The question to ask is why buy something else?"<

    My very simple reply: Re-sale value, pride of ownership, dealer network. I think maybe more people than not, actually think like I do. It IS reflected in the perception of poor Korean build quality, based on Hyundai's earlier reliability issues. Finally, the re-sale/depreciation issue ultimately reflects the general public's opinion of South Korean autos. HOWEVER, "the times they be a changin"! Hyundai's and Kia's are selling pretty well, they seem to have carved out a sizeable niche in the NEW car segment. Hey, good for them, I think thats neat. As I stated, the 2001/2002 Hyundai Elantra is the real deal. At the risk of Backy, impeaching me for recanting, :-) Edmund's long term test of the new Elantra is VERY promising. I think, if Hyundai re-introduced a stylish wagon/hatchback version of the Elantra GLS, it would be a killer with young families and Generation Next types.

    Nonetheless, at the end of the day, It is still my opinion that Honda Civic, Mazda Protege and/or Nissan Sentra offer a better long term value, better reliability, and the features people really want at a very fair price. JUST MY OPINION.

  • I have yet to see an Echo with wide tires.
  • Actually, the difference in price between the MSRP of my Echo and the MSRP of an Elantra with a CD player (which makes it comparably equipped in my mind) is $135.

    I will probably drive 20,000 miles a year plus gasoline around here is $ .999 a gallon so I used these figures in determining the difference in yearly fuel cost between the Echo and the Elantra.

    According to the government site, the Echo will cost $172 a year less to drive than the Elantra. What this means is that the savings in gasoline in ONE year, NOT twenty years, makes up for the Echo being slightly more expensive. And then some.

    And anyway, even if it did take 20 years to make up for the difference in MSRPs, I would rather spend the $172 a year in gas savings on something else.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Larry, if you were offened by my little joke about the styling of the ECHO, I apologize. I thought the pictogram I put after the comment would let people know the statement was in jest. I was also expressing an opinion about an inanimate object, a car, and my personal reaction to it, vs. an opinion about a class of people.

    I'm glad you think the Elantra is "the real deal". Since there IS an Elantra hatchback, I'm assuming you don't think it is stylish, based on your post. I happen to disagree, but its Saab-like styling cues aren't for everyone. I think it could benefit from a front grill redux and some rework on the tail lights. Maybe in 2004. A wagon would be nice, too--the prior generation wagon seemed quite popular, I see a lot of them around.

    Re your opinion on Civic, Protege, and Sentra's superiority in overall value, it would be interesting to see if the marketplace shares your opinion. For example, Civic sales were up strongly in October, up 23.5% from October 2000. But Elantra sales were up 69.6% in October compared to a year ago. I could not find sales figures for Protege and Sentra for October; perhaps someone knows where to get this info (Honda and Hyundai conveniently post their monthly sales figures, broken down by model, on their Web sites.) As you've noted, Hyundai and Kia are selling pretty well. Actually they're selling great if you look at their increases year-over-year compared to the rest of the market. There must be reasons for these strong sales increases vs. competitors like Honda, Mazda, and Nissan. I happen to think that value (feature content for the dollar) and peace of mind from the outstanding warranty are two major reasons.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Major, just to be fair on this... does your ECHO have the following features, which come on an Elantra GLS with CD?

    Power windows
    Power locks
    Remote keyless entry with alarm
    Power heated mirrors
    6-speaker CD
    6-way adjustable drivers seat with lumbar support
    15" tires
    Front-seat side air bags
    Air conditioning
    Variable ratio power steering
    Cruise control
    Full gauge cluster with tachometer
    Front seat arm rest with dual storage compartments

    If not, then to be fair we should add this equipment to the ECHO when doing price comparisons.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Have a Malibu Maxx-- best 16K I ever spent.

    Close friend has a 2000 Focus ZX3. Like the handling but seats aren't too good as per lumbar support. Supposedly Focus has improved in both comfort and handling since then.

    Had a Hyundai Elantra 4 door before the Maxx. More comfortable than the Focus, Maxx is worth the extra 5 grand difference. However if I was looking at that size car I'd still be looking at the Elantra hatch (none was available when I was buying in 2001).

    Passed on the Kia because of poor initial crash scores, however Kia has now improved in that area and would definitely be looking at the car now. Nice looking although I still think the Maxx is worth the extra $$$, especially since the mileage is roughly the same. (I'm getting about 1.5 mpg less than I did with the Elantra 5-speed.)

    I also looked at the Scion xB and the Toyota/Pontiac hatch twins. All were far too noisy and the Suzuki Aerio SX-- really liked the 5-speed, interior is MUCH improved this year and there's a great level of standard features. Still, concerned about Suzuki dealer quality and the Aerio sales are tanking even with the recent improvements.

    Chevy dealers appear much better than local Hyundai dealer (they were always trying to nickel and dime me on services and don't like dealer addons and high pressure sales of closest dealer). Kia dealership tied to local Dodge dealer that's better than Hyundai but not up to my experience with local Chevy dealerships (I think they've been Saturnized for the better).

    Did drive a Forenza wagon (with the automatic), much less car than my Maxx--and MPG's were worse--- and cruder IMHO than the Kia/Hyundais. I assume the same would apply to the Reno.

    Drove a Mazda 3, but reliability not as good as the Maxx.

    All in all, I wish we had many more wagons and hatches to consider. A decade ago both the Camry and Accord came in wagon form. Now there's only the Maxx and the Mazda 6 in that class and a handful of Focus class cars with hatches and wagons. Too bad-- got to get more 50 and 60 year olds (as well as 20-30-and 40 year olds) out of those SUV's.
  • Backy, I am the resident Echo owner and I did not take offense to your statement although I disagree with you and feel you are wrong.
  • Backy, some of the things you mention are on my Echo, some things could have been on my Echo, and some things are unavailable as a dealer or factory option no matter the price.

    The things on your list that are on my Echo are power locks, 6-speakers, and the air conditioning.

    The things you can get are power windows, remote keyless entry with alarm, and front-seat side air bags.

    The things you cannot get power heated side mirrors, 6-way adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, 15" tires, cruise control, full gauge cluster with tachometer, and front seat armrest with dual storage containers.

    I think you are reaching with the last two, especially the last one. Should I ask if the Elantra comes with two glove boxes? Should I ask if the Elantra comes with an under the seat drawer? Should I ask if the Elantra comes with a storage bin under the steering wheel?

    There is one item on your list that I have not mentioned and that is the power steering. My Echo has power steering, but I have no idea if it is variable ratio power steering.

    When I figured out the MSRP of a "comparably equipped" Elantra to compare to the MSRP of my Echo, I had to think about what was important to me. Honestly, I detest power windows and if I bought an Elantra and I could have it without power windows, I would. Even if it meant paying to have them removed.

    BTW, how much does it cost to get the Toyota quality option on the Elantra?
  • According to one source, which is JD Powers, the 2001 Echo is better than the 2001 Elantra in the areas of mechanical quality, feature & accessory quality, and body & interior quality.

    This seems born out by the fact that the 2001 Elantra has one recall, eight technical service bulletins, and fifteen customer complaints detailed on the NHTSA site.

    Compare that with zero recalls, zero technical service bulletins, and six customer complaints for the 2001 Echo.

    Finally, Consumer Reports relates that owners of the 2001 Elantra had more complaints in the areas of the fuel system, transmission, electrical system, brakes, power equipment, and body hardware than owners of the 2001 Echo.

    Three different sources researched and ALL three seem to indicate that the 2001 Echo is a better car than the 2001 Elantra.
  • janbeejanbee Posts: 127
    are you actually trying to prove whose car is the better one??? I think you are getting a little carried away. Lets just enjoy what each of our cars have to offer and why we enjoy them so.
  • Is Honda actually going to bring to the US a new model that would be below the Civic in size and price range just as Toyota has with Echo/Corolla? And is VW considering bringing on the Polo?
    By the way, there is no comparison between Echo and Elantra other than price similarity. Elantra wins all categories (Styling, value content, fun to drive factor, ride comfort) with the exception of the "Toyota" reputation. Drive both cars back to back if you wanna know what I mean.
  • Funny, how you dismiss the quality "win" of the Echo by calling it the Toyota "reputation". And it is not just reputation, it is a fact as demonstrated by the results of the JD Powers' survey and Consumer Reports' survey.

    I guess quality is not important to you.
  • I hate to rehash old arguments, but the whole "pride of ownership" thing is another way of saying "My ego won't allow me to own one." You are so afraid that your neighbors will stop talking to you if you don't drive a Toyota or Honda or whatever everyone else has to drive that you can't buy one. Don't worry about your co-workers or anyone, get a great car at a great price and enjoy the heck out of it!
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